Leganes achieved quite a milestone in the Bernabeu: they prevented Madrid from taking a shot for the whole first twenty minutes. The first corner for the home side didn’t come along until 30 minutes either.
Leganés made life difficult
Leganés coach Garitano set up his team to pressure high up field, effectively handcuffing Madrid’s offensive game. Bale, Morata and Cristiano were anonymous at the start, which put the frontline’s resolve to test in a situation of maximum difficulty. It also forced Kroos, Isco and Kovacic to refine their game against a team who were deploying their game plan impeccably.
The Gareth Bale Show
The solution though finally came in the 37th minute in a move of perfect harmony: Isco threaded a magical pass which split open the Leganés defence and found Bale down the number 9 channel, leaving the Welshman to dispatch. This is when the ‘Gareth show’ began. Bale flew the flag for Madrid’s attack from there, while Morata also got a goal. Cristiano, though, floundered.
Bale and Morata won the race in front of their teammate Ronaldo. The Welshman had eight attempts (two goals, four saved and two blocked), Morata, who was more thwarted by Leganés’ defence, had only two shots (though his goal redeemed him), while Cristiano had no luck in any of the three attacking positions (three poor shots: two one blocked two off target).
Cristiano needs to lose petulant attitude
Bale and Cristiano, in particular, are like light and dark in Madrid at the moment. The Portuguese forward needs to come out of this period of inconsistency and leave behind a petulant attitude that undermines his efforts and his ‘glamour’ as a footballer.